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Java 1.5 and Macintosh

Stephen Bloch
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Joined: Aug 19, 2003
Posts: 48
I've been looking at the new features for Java 1.5, and I think they'll make a big difference to the way I teach first-year programming. Just one hitch: my students mostly use Windows machines, but I prefer a Mac both at home and at the office, and Apple has only recently released Java 1.4.2 for the Mac. Are there any rumors about when a Macintosh implementation of Java 1.5 will be out?

Related (possibly political) question: why does each new version of Java come out on java.sun.com for every platform in the world except the Macintosh, which follows months later on developer.apple.com?


SCJP 1.4
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

See this thread:

http://www.coderanch.com/t/111381/Mac/Java-mac

As a PC user seriously considering making "the switch" to Mac, I'm very curious about these things as well.

It appears that Mac programmers are at the mercy of Apple to incorporate Java and keep it current in their operating systems, without the option of users downloading and installing themselves. Is this accurate?

(And what else should I consider -- from a Java SE perspective -- in making "the switch" to Mac?)


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Peter van der Linden
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 46
> And what else should I consider -- from a Java SE perspective --
> in making "the switch" to Mac?

I use the Mac a lot. My main desktop system is a Mac. What's not to love about the Mac ?
Since Apple changed to Berkeley Unix with MacOS X (what, 4 years ago now?) MacOS is just
Unix with a really cool GUI.

And the hardware is better styled and better quality than the junk you get in the PC world.
And Apple actually carries out hardware and software innovation, unlike Microsoft which
just talks up a big story about it. And if you do have a problem, you go to one vendor to
straighten it out, not suffer a lot of finger pointing about "it's the sw/no it's the hw."

And every Mac on the market today comes with video creating software, so you can take the
video you shoot and turn it into CDs/DVDs. If you live a long way away from your family,
that's a cool way to stay in touch. Don't even talk to me about the nightmare of
integrating add-on video cards, drivers and software to a PC.

And I love the free video chats I can do with my brother and sisters in England, using the
iSight camera. No need to run up phone bills. Yes sirree! Love them apples!
Apple is the great big secret of the IT world for people who actually want to get stuff done
rather than fritz around with goofy service packs and the like.

Coming back to Java ... since Apple is just Unix, there should not be any hidden issues for you.
Apple has invested a lot in Java, and done an awesome job of integrating it with their
desktop GUI (actually a finer job than Sun has done of integrating Java with Solaris!)
I can't think of any issues.

But there is a terrific book from O'Reilly called MacOS X for Java Geeks that well repays
a study.

Lets hear it for enthusiasm for platforms! Yay!
Cheers,

Peter


Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0131482114/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Just Java(TM) 2 (6th Edition)</a>
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Peter van der Linden:
...the hardware is better styled...

Not that this should influence me, but the new iMac looks so cool.

Thanks for the input!

I'm thinking of getting an iBook to replace my floundering IBM notebook. I'll use that as a test platform; and if all goes well, my desktop will be next.
[ October 01, 2004: Message edited by: marc weber ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Looks like Apple will release a Tiger version ONLY for OS/X 10.5, no compatibility with other releases.
This is in line with their releases of other JVMs.


42
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
My co-authors are running the beta version of Mac OSX tiger on their powerbooks, and it *includes* the Java 5 Tiger implementation, and they said it's all awesome. I'm going to install it this weekend myself on my own little powerbook.

Yesterday for the first time, I went to the Apple store and played with the iMac. Oh WOW. Major Lust. It *is* a G5. While rumors abound about a G5 notebook, and I had been holding out... I might break down and get that iMac. Great price for a G5 with a 20" display!

So, yes, this weekend I'll be trying out Tiger On Tiger on my powerbook, but from what I've heard, it's already pretty amazing and very stable.

So, the downside is that unless you're in the developer program and get the beta of the OS, you do have to wait for Apple to do a full customer release of Tiger OSX before you get Java 5. But I reckon it'll be well worth it.

MY big complaint is that I'm still waiting for the Wireless ToolKit to work on the Mac!!! That seems to be the only area that's really lacking, since most J2EE stuff is heavily supported and works well on the Mac, and Java 5 is coming... it's just the J2ME stuff that's a struggle.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61224
    
  66

Looks like Apple will release a Tiger version ONLY for OS/X 10.5, no compatibility with other releases.


That'd be a bummer for those of us who may not be able to upgrade immediately. Upon what are you basing this assertion?
[ October 01, 2004: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]

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Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Stephen Bloch:

Are there any rumors about when a Macintosh implementation of Java 1.5 will be out?

Rumor has it that a preliminary version of Java 1.5 is already included in the current developer seed of Mac OS 10.4, which is also in beta, and is also named "Tiger".

Related (possibly political) question: why does each new version of Java come out on java.sun.com for every platform in the world except the Macintosh, which follows months later on developer.apple.com?

Is this actually true? My impression was that Sun only supported their own hardware and x86; that IBM, for example, was responsible for Java on their own specialized hardware. At any rate, I'd assume Sun doesn't see the Mac platform as critical to the success of Java, and Apple would rather do it themselves to make sure it's done right, anyway.

Jeroen Wenting:

Looks like Apple will release a Tiger version ONLY for OS/X 10.5, no compatibility with other releases.
This is in line with their releases of other JVMs.


The latter sentence is incorrect. Java 1.4 came out well after the release of OS 10.3, and it was included as a free update to 10.2 - I know because I still run 10.2 on my home machine. I suspect the former sentence is incorrect also; Apple will almost certainly release Java 1.5 for older versions of Mac OS 10 as soon as it's ready.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61224
    
  66

I'm 100% with Kathy on this one. Mac OS X is a dream platform for J2EE development.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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